Baghdad weapons depot blast kills 1, injures 29 (vid)

One person was killed and 29 injured on Monday evening when a weapons depot controlled by Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitaries caught fire, setting off explosions and sending rockets crashing into neighboring districts, according to health officials.

It is not clear how many civilians are among the wounded, nor has the person killed been identified.

Videos posted on social media appear to show a massive plume of smoke billowing from the al-Saqr military base.

The cause of the fire in the south of the Iraqi capital remains unknown, but police sources told Reuters it may have been sparked by negligent storage of weaponry and extremely high summer temperatures, which can easily reach 50 degrees centigrade.

The interior ministry has launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Qasim al-Attabi, a spokesman for the district’s health directorate, said children were among the wounded. Health Ministry spokesman Saif Badr said most of those who suffered light injuries have now been discharged from hospital.

Security sources told Reuters the facility is used to store short-range and Katyusha missiles.